Area of Research
Islamic Bioethics and the Embryo: Critical Questions and Diverse Approaches

This seminar is organised by the Islamic Institute for Development & Research (IIDR) and the Research Centre for Islamic Legislation & Ethics (CILE) part of HBKU at Qatar Foundation in partnership with Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College.


In much the same way that recent biomedical technologies are re-shaping the field of biomedical research and healthcare services, the ethical issues these technologies generate are revolutionizing the landscape of our moral world. At the heart of this technology-ethics debate lies the status of the embryo besides a long list of related ethical questions and perplexities. Our long-established understanding of some key ethical concepts, through which we make sense of our life is in need of serious revision and even reconceptualization. The religion of Islam, like other ethical traditions, has been contributing to this global debate and it will be the focus of this seminar.

This seminar will be divided into two main parts:  the first part will elaborate on the emerging field of Islamic Bioethics, how ethical positions are developed, the main authoritative voices in this field and to what extent they are homogenous or heterogenous. The second part will focus on the key question: When does the life of the embryo acquire the moral status of personhood? We will also explore how the answer to this question determines the ethical position, and consequently the appropriate course of action, on a long list of complex issues like embryonic stem cell research, genetic tests, abortion, procreation options including the IVF technologies, etc.  

The concluding part of the seminar will be a Q&A session where the participants will have the opportunity to raise questions about issues addressed in the lecture or related to the field of Islamic bioethics in general.

Speaker: Dr Mohammed Ghaly

Dr Mohammed Ghaly is Professor of Islam and Biomedical Ethics at the Research Center for Islamic Legislation & Ethics (CILE), College of Islamic Studies (CIS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar. Dr Ghaly graduated with a BA in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University (Egypt) and completed his MA and PhD in Islamic Studies from Leiden University (Netherlands).

Dr Ghaly was a faculty member at Leiden University (2007 -13) and since 2011 he has been a faculty member at the Erasmus Mundus Program; the European Master of Bioethics jointly organized by a number of European universities. Dr Ghaly is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Islamic Ethics (published by Brill) and serves on the editorial board of a number of academic journals.

He is a consultant of a number of research projects and has lectured on Islamic Bioethics at many universities worldwide including Oxford University, Imperial College, University of Oslo, University of Chicago and Georgetown University. During the academic year 2014-2015, he was the Visiting Researcher at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University.

Date & Venue

28 April 2017, from 18:15 to 20:15. Roger Bannister Lecture Theatre, St. Mary's Hospital - Praed Street W2 1NY, St Marys Campus, Faculty of Medicine. Click to view map

Contact details

Nikita Rathod


Click “Reserve your seat here” button on this link. Seminar is free of charge but registration is required.

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